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Grief is love with nowhere to go

One year ago, as the morning started sunny and beautiful, capping the weekend of a family celebration, we received the news; you were no longer a part of our world.  We gathered in the room with you. You seemed so peaceful. Your body, though unmoving, curled comfortably in sleep, your hand under your chin, as if in the happiest of dreams. I remember kneeling at your side, my face pressed to yours, begging you to open your eyes. Please, please, open your eyes.  It was unimaginable that you could have moved on to a place beyond our sight and touch. Even now, it’s just as inconceivable that an entire year has passed without you in our lives.  I have been comforted by the fact that you left peacefully, just as you had asked God for. And I also take solace that despite not having the chance to hold your first great-grandchild, there were no umbrages left in your wake — no arguments or bad feelings, no should-haves, wish-I-would-haves, remaining between us. I’m certain you knew I loved you a
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Heartbreaking and Heart-Rebuilding

It’s been a whirlwind six months for my family.  This past fall, my daughter surprised the family with the happy news that she was pregnant with our first grandchild—the first baby on my side of the family in twenty-something years! We immediately called my 89-year-old mother in Florida to share the news and let her know that her wish to become a great-grandmother was coming true!  Weeks later, the whole family reunited in New Jersey to celebrate my nephew’s wedding. That Saturday, we laughed and danced welcoming a lovely woman into our growing family. Mom was the only surviving grandparent at the wedding, and she got to see my daughter beautifully blossoming with pregnancy, cute baby bump and all. Mom, six months shy of 90, and usually spunky and talkative, wasn’t herself that day. She complained of being cold and shivered throughout the celebration. But it  was  fall in New Jersey, we reasoned, and Mom, after nearly 30 years in Florida, was unused to the chilly northern temps that di
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Just forget it!

I would like to know who keeps moving my stuff. Things like my cell phone, glasses, and car keys constantly show up in unusual spots around the house. Is it forgetfulness? Today's technology overloading my brain? Whatever it is, it’s becoming a trend. Lately I've been reaching for words I cannot find. Names of people evade me. I get to the top of the stairs and suddenly can't remember why I climbed them. Walk into the kitchen, and the reason I'm there leaves me. While I often cannot recall an actor's name, I can usually drag up the first letter of his/her name. "His name begins with 'T'," I tell my husband. To which he'll reply, "Tim Robbins." Clearly, I've helped procure this information, so I call it a win. When I mention to my friends about getting to the top of the stairs and not remembering why, they nod their heads in understanding. I am not alone, though this doesn't make me feel better when my phone goes missing. Witho

Stop giving a f*ck

* Warning: Foul language ahead! I’m listening to the audio version of “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.” This pithy book written by Mark Manson, is a sometimes humorous look at thoughts, behaviors and outcomes; full of logic and f-bombs. Manson pulls apart the concept of why we care about miscellaneous things and how a broad concern for too many things can affect us negatively. Yes, he says, we should most definitely give a fuck about things in our life. But how many fucks is enough and how do we choose what to give a fuck about? Case in point. Mom is an active 88-year-old widow, whose worries over the years have grown dramatically. She is concerned about a broad spectrum of subjects, from the predilection for tattoos by younger generations, to the mere possibility that anyone might get out of paying for their college tuition. She’s upset about facial hair on men and long hair on women. What surprises me most is not only the conviction she has to her opinions but the anger. It stea

Dog Sabbatical

Nearly seven years ago, our son came home with a furry mini tank of a puppy. Only, my husband and I hadn't wanted another dog. After our last dog crossed the rainbow bridge, we were on dog sabbatical, taking a break to travel. I liked the idea that, without a dog, I’d finally have the clean house I'd always dreamt of. With an active young family, cleaning was like shoveling in a snowstorm. When the first kid moved out, I could see the fantasy within reach, toothpaste-free mirrors, and days (maybe even a week!) free of vacuuming. Enter Winston, a beautiful Greater Swiss Mountain, a 120-pound loveable bear of a dog who adores people. He rushes to greet visitors with such excitement, he fully believes they are coming to see him. His size makes him a presence you cannot ignore. Though, if he runs into you, it's like being tackled by a professional football player. My fantasy of a clean house disappeared faster than Christmas cookies. Winston is the messiest dog we’ve ever had.

This Valentine's Day, take a trip to Italy!

A chance trip to Italy to find a father he never met will give Edward a chance at love he never expected.